Middle-aged Appalachians living with diabetes mellitus: a family affair

Fam Community Health. Jul-Sep 2006;29(3):214-20. doi: 10.1097/00003727-200607000-00008.


Understanding the experiences of low-income Appalachians living with type 2 diabetes mellitus is needed to provide culturally sensitive care. For this qualitative study, 13 adults were recruited from 2 low-income clinics in northern West Virginia through purposive sampling. Through in-depth interviews with the participants, 4 themes were identified: (1) achieving a balance between diet and family needs, (2) adapting to fluctuations in energy levels, (3) balancing family relationships with self-reliance, and (4) dealing with the uncertainty of future health. Nurses working with low-income adults in Appalachia need to provide family-centered diabetes education to meet the cultural needs of this group.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Appalachian Region
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2*
  • Family Relations*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Life Change Events*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Poverty
  • West Virginia